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July 17, 2008

Fuck You, Delta Airlines

Worst customer service experience ever... Amongst other things, Delta's baggage screener took my razor out of its pocket and shoved it back into the bag face up, which made for a nasty, bloody surprise this morning.

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Pack an electric on your next plane trip.

I've flown Delta some half a dozen times, only two of which were by choice. Each and every single time has been unpleasant, from customer service hassles to damaged luggage.

That said, I'd be surprised if Delta had any control whatsoever over the baggage screeners at its gates. Was this someone with a Delta uniform, or someone with a TSA uniform and pseudo-police badge? I suspect that this post should be more accurately titled, 'Fuck you, TSA'.

Now, now, folks, there's no reason not to say "Fuck you" to both of them.

Lindsay: Are you in Austin for NRN? I'm not doing the convention, but if you have time I'd like to meet up for lunch or coffee or whatever.

brian at peacenik dot net


Lindsay,

Reading your brief portrayal of events, I winced and said "Ouch!" At the risk of sounding trite, I felt your pain.

Some of your readers may remember a time when Delta was the SUPREME model of customer service and everyone knew it. Delta had a corporate sense of family among its employees and it showed. We travelers were children in their temporary care and they looked out for us. Having traveled a great deal on business expense accounts I've endured my share of airport nightmares. One thing I always heard while suffering with delays, gate agents who were clueless, and poor service was, "This would never happen with Delta."

No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. But, we did have the good old days with Delta.

If they're looking for a way to kill of the airline industry in this country, they couldn't be doing a better job.

Another reason why having workable trains around would be nice.

Another reason why having workable trains around would be nice.

Ask Blue Girl how that's working out.

I agree, it sucks. If flying means you're treated like a criminal and the train system is on the verge of falling apart and gas is on the way to (and past) $5 a gallon, we may soon be adapting to the idea of just staying home.

I am beginning to think that the airline industry prefers bankruptcy and ruin. Sorry for your injury, that does look nasty.

What Norman said. Delta used to be so well run that their employees (non-pilots, I believe) bought the company a Boeing 757(?). Those were the days...

Gee, it just had to be that finger. How ironic. Sorry you had to endure that pain (put a band aid on it).

Can we kiss it better?

I have long suspected that the entire airline industry is engaged in a huge, long-running behavioural experiment to find out exactly how much shit people will put up with. So far, the answer seems to be "a hell of a lot."

Zed beat me to it. I imagine it was a Federal Govt TSA employee who did this. I've never seen airline employees search bags.

I fly Delta, and generally find them middle of the pack.

For all, myself included, who complain about the service can only say - put yourself in the airlines' shoes. They are facing unbearable increases in the cost of fuel. They are trying to stay alive at this point.

They can't manage their way out of this crisis, and consumers won't or in some cases cannot afford to pay higher fares.

Leisure air travel is astonishingly cheap still. I will take the cramped conditions with a smile, so long as I can go RT from NY to LA for $450 or Hawaii for $700, which amazingly is still possible to do with a little work.

I go out of my way to be nice to flight attendants and gate personnel- they've been through a lot. As much as we think our job sucks, theirs is probably a lot worse.


BTW

I cut myself in similar (not as bad) fashion last year. The bad actor/packer was me. I now try to always pack the razor in the holder or to wrap the damned thing in a plastic bag if there is no holder.


KLG

I remember that incident also. Those were better days.

It's amazing how the quality of air travel has deteriorated. On my first airline flight (on a Boeing 707) in 1960 I ate a swordfish steak with a real fork. On the most recent trip I took, I was swallowing hydrocodone like peanuts, and that made the experience only slightly less miserable.

It was Delta's terminal at JFK (terminal 2/3, so I assumed it was one a Delta staffer, but maybe the final insult was thanks to the TSA). You may wonder why I was flying with a razor in the first place. The only reason I had to carry on that bag was that I arrived at the counter 47 minutes before takeoff, the deadline for checking bags being 45 minutes. The Delta agent was literally the most supercilious, unpleasant customer service rep I've ever dealt with. She literally grinned when she told us that we'd have to go home and come back tomorrow because our bags were too big to check and we couldn't take them on the plane (and of course there'd be a charge...). I finally cajoled her into letting us take our bags on the plane. The final insult was that all the bags were gate-checked anyway. We just handed the suitcases to the attendant before we walked up the jetway to the small regional jet. So, the whole thing about how we'd have to go home because our bags couldn't be checked was total bullshit!

But all's well that ends well. We're having a terrific time at Netroots Nation.

A more accurate header would be "Fuck you TSA" or

"Fuck You Department of Homeland Security"!

cfrost

I took my first flight in the late 1970s, in coach (TWA) and it wasn't so wonderful.

I'm not sure us steerage passengers ever had much of a golden age of flight that I keep hearing about. I never saw it.

What you really notice now is that the planes are so much more crowded. If you have empty seats around you, that's better than any service they can ever give you. But yes that rarely happens anymore.

The best advice I can give is for anyone who travels a lot to try hard to bunch your travel with an airline with a good Frequent Flyer plan, like Continental. I often get free upgrades with them, and have a preferred customer checkin line, which is really good.

uh...are you kidding? how about "don't thrust your hand in anywhere you know there are sharp objects"...blaming the airlines or the security gate agents or whomever else...absolutely pathetic. unless you're 6 years old, of course.

I packed my razor in a zippered sub-compartment. This was a sensible precaution because the refill blades don't come with plastic guards. I assumed that whoever searched my bag put the razor back where they found it. Good rule: If there wasn't a sharp object loose in a compartment before you searched it for safety, there sure as hell shouldn't be one there when you're done! Unless your TSA agent is 6 years old, or something.


Joe,

One thing I have found on this, and other blogs, is that a lot of invective and sarcasm gets hurled without reading the complete thread, or at least reading it thoroughly and carefully. When that happens, or in this case fails to happen, the comments tend to be laced with words like "pathetic", "you're 6 years old", and insults that are the equivalent of "if you weren't so stupid...".

You may find comfort, though, in the fact that you are not alone. Your vocabulary, tone, and complete lack of guile are not unlike those of others who don't take the time to know what they are talking about.

Hey, that's nothin'. The TSA removed the batteries for my wife's vibrator and we didn't find out until....well, you know the old saying.

>I took my first flight in the late 1970s, in coach (TWA) and it wasn't so wonderful.

I took my first flights in the early 1960s, in coach, and the barf bags were not an afterthought, no sir. Prop jets were hella bouncy, yez.

If only I could have sprayed the puke on bigots like Phantom. Damn, lost fantasy opportunity.

I flew on Delta recently...I arrived at the airport at 5:30AM....an hour before take off, right. OK, I was told that it was a "breach of security" for my "baggage to be on another plane" than the one I would be on....what a load of crap. I asked several Security guards (TSA) about that, and they laughed and said that was a new one on them! I knew it was a lie when the clerk told it to me...I have raised two kids and have 3 grandchildren, you learn to read them and others...you KNOW when you are being lied to. The frickin' plane was overbooked, I overheard another clerk say that when I was going down the counter to talk to the "guy in charge".

I was delayed until 2:10PM, I was exhaused just from waiting, and running out of money...I am diabetic and have to have my insulin and food...niether of which they gave a damn about. If my insulin pump had stopped working, or was seen as a security threat, would they take it away?? Yes they would, some of these guys are just assholes that got a job that allows them to be assholes and be paid for it. My brother was a cop, and that is what HE told me.

OK, so I get to the airport in Kentucky, finally, and get told that my tickets are no good...I explained to them what the problem was, and finally they give me a boarding pass...the guy pushing me in my wheelchair had to almost run to get me on the train to go to the gate on the other side of the terminal...I would have never been able to get there on time....I boarded when I got there, all the others had already boarded. Close call there.

Then I get to Seattle, I immediately have someone take me to the United Airlines desk, so I can get a boarding pass. The man behind the desk accused ME or YELLING at HIM!! I was speaking loudly because there was so much noise all around us. I told him I wasn't "feeling the love", and left for Alaska arilines ticket desk.

There was a wonderful young lady behind the counter, she listened to what I said, and she took care of the problem by making ONE phone call to United Airlines. They signed the ticket over to Alaska and I got home, finally, at 10:30PM....instead of 4:30PM....doesn't sound like much until you add in the fact that I started out on EDT...so add 3 hours...9 hours of delay, at least. I think I should charge them for my lost time! At the very least, they should give a partcial refund for the time delay and inconveince...I mean it sucks to be treated so badly, and they make you pay alot of money for that too!

This was my first experience with Delta, and it will be my last. I will NEVER except ANY flight plan that includes Delta, EVER!!!

Well guys, everyone had a bad experience with a certain airline, but can you imagine yourselves smiling and listening to complaints 24hours everyday, doing what it is called "Customer Service" even if you are in a bad mood or angry for a reason maybe a flight with your wife or when driving. I had a delay when I was traveling with Delta and I was just watching the customer service staff baring the shit, the swearing and the shouting from passengers and I can't imagine how these staff managed to calm the angry passengers even with this delay, guys just imagine yourselves in their position and what can you take.


Bunch of rotten cunts, here I am, right now looking out the window at my aircraft, still loading passengers. And I with have a confirmed ticket having shown up 3 minutes too late. "Sorry sir but the door (walkway) is closed, we can't let you on. (Broken record) "Well fuck you Delta". Fuck you TSA AND FUCK YOU, Glad to be rid of you "Bush jr" for the "Patriot Act." You "gutted" the constitution.
Justin

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